One agency has shared its secrets for winning landlord and tenant referrals, which it claimed provided 29.7 per cent of its business in 2014-15.
Ballarat Property Group director Jamie Stephens said his company put on 337 new rentals over the last financial year through referrals from satisfied clients.
“If you do the right thing, these people will talk for you,” he told the Australasian Residential Property Management Conference.
“It’s not just your current clients, but your previous ones; if you've had a good experience with someone, the first thing you’re going to do is tell others to go and see that person.”
According to Mr Stephens, agencies can get a pay-off from treating tenants well – even when they misbehave.
“I had a university student renting a property, and he and his mates did a number on the place,” Mr Stephens recalled.
“He said, ‘You actually treated us really civilly and told us what we needed to do to fix it. I bought a property and the first thing I thought of was you’.”
Mr Stephens said the best way to get referrals from clients is to maintain contact with them. “Not very many property managers keep in touch with their clients; they just ring up when something’s wrong,” he said.
One initiative that has helped Mr Stephens’ staff develop good relationships with clients is a ‘seatbelt rule’.
“Once you do a routine inspection and get in your car, the first thing you do when you put your seatbelt on is ring your client,” he said.
“Call and tell them the inspection went fine and that you’ll email photos later; that way the landlord’s happy and he gets an email later in the day with the photos.”
[Related: How to ask clients for referrals]